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Reviews For: Kenwood TS-140/680

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Kenwood TS-140/680
Reviews: 51MSRP: 1,190.00
100w, 160-10m HF SSB/AM/FM/CW rig
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
GM4DHJ Rating: 2004-11-03
junk ! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
nasty little rig..that small step tuning control lasted about six months....and the sliders are too small and fidly...
ON4SSC Rating: 2004-01-29
Nice rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I got it second hand 2 months ago. I have used it with an indoor 20m dipole antenna and had quite some success with it making dx contacts. The receiver is good, but noisy, and tends to overdrive signals. It does not have any bells and whistles : no filter of any kind, the NB is working but barely effective, and the power knob is a small horizontal slider which is rather difficult to set for the desired output power. In summary : a good rig but not one I would use as my main rig, only as a second rig in case where my main rig would fail. If you can have it for $300 or less get it otherwise look elsewhere. I also have a FT-817 and as soon as it comes back from Yaesu (failed finals) it will become my "main" rig. It's so fun to use ! And has better audio (with the SSB filter) than the TS-140.
KB7RGT Rating: 2003-11-29
Great Quality/Price ratio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The 140 was my first HF radio. I owned it for 3-4 years. A great 1st radio. Obviously if one is used to a mid range or high-end rig this one is inferior. But one doesn't miss what one has never had, so I had a great time with it. The only frustration I had was with the power slider. 80% of the power increase or decrease was within about 1/16 of an inch of its movement rather than spread out evenly over its whole travel range. The result was QRP or full power.
VE2DC Rating: 2003-09-11
Poor dynamic range Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I tried one of these in the shack for a few weeks in the '80s...

First, the good news:
Great sounding audio on RX and TX
Simple to operate.
Great fun on the higher bands.
Relatively cheap.

Then the bad news.
In those days I was fortunate to have a 3 el yagi at 150' on 40M. I hooked it up the the TS140 with the antenna pointing at Europe, and the reciever was absolutely useless. The whole band was cluttered with intermod. On 80M (dipole at 140') it wasn't much better.

So it's not for the serious DXer with large antennas... but I'm sure it would be a great spare rig for the cottage or mobile... and the audio quality really was nice!
WD4AWO Rating: 2003-06-22
Hear it for yourself on 20 meters Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Radio was protected by bubble-wrap in the bottom of a box of avionics equipment that was purchased at an auction. Might have $40 invested in it.
I did the mod for the drive transistor, Q2 before applying DC voltage to the radio, just to be sure the transmit circuit was OK.
Someone else did a modification on it enabling 125+ watts Rf output on AM with 150%+ modulation.
Small dent in left rear corner of bottom cover, but no big deal.
Added an external DSP unit to enhance recieve.
Hear it on the air and judge for yourself.
14.275 mc Monday-Friday and during no-contest weekends.
For those who don't like it, send me an email ( and I'll let you unload it on me with very little pain.

KE8YY Rating: 2003-05-23
Awful receiver Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This was the first HF radio I purchased brand new. I was impressed by all the bells and whistles, like being able to set band limits for your license class,. Unfortunately I didn't listen to it a lot before buying, as this radio has one of the nosiest receiver sections of any radio I've ever encountered. It's full of bridies and other artifacts of synthesis and has an annoyingly high noise floor as well. I sold it and bought a used Ten-Tec Corsair II, and immediately began working stations I couldn't hear before.
YC3MZZ Rating: 2003-02-26
Great inexpensive rig for beginner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Having this radio for a number of years and have no problem at all with it. Simple operation, very good reception and wow.. 200 watts maximum output (when tuned). Good sound quality when use Adonis AM 7500E
A must for a new ham.
KG4WYQ Rating: 2003-02-04
Used TS-140s works well with a few exceptions Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just bought a TS-140s used. I was impressed with features that were available in the early 90s. I had used a 430s and 440s contesting in Alaska and it was flawless. The 140s has a few problems that should be noted. The slide controls for power, mike gain, rf gain etc should have been pots. They are scratchy and are intermitented. Power and mike gain cuts out sometimes while setting. Once set, they continue to work. Needs a SWR meter. The size is perfect for mobile use. Power out is just right for a new user. Easy to modify for MARS and CAP. Has FM board as standard.

Over all a good radio for the new and advanced user. is my satellite televison site. Im looking forward to working satellite communications as a Ham.
KC9CMZ Rating: 2002-12-11
Great beginner setup! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Picked up this item used. I'm new to HF. Surpisingly, this rig is simple, yet has all the necessary fetures. I agree, the slider would be better as pots. A runthrough with contact cleaner, and everything was good again. IF i could change one thing, i'd make the squelch cover everything, not just FM. Overall, a great beginner rig.
EA5ON Rating: 2002-10-09
Gets the DX in the log Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my TS-140S for 12 years. Faults? Yes. The light bulb popped a few years ago, the fan relay too, the Memory channel button needs replaced, and more seriously, it has an intermittent cutout on 15/17m. This last problem is thankfully solved with an old-fashioned bash on the side of the rig and it comes back to life. The receiver is noisy, I'll grant. The NB saturates at full whack. The sliders would have been better as pots.

Why a 3 rating then? It's solid, standing up to a lot of physical moving. It's easy to use. The transmit audio is great. But most importantly, I've been able to work more DX than I'd care to remember, both from the mobile and from the house. Which after all is what I bought it for. My 101ZD has a quieter receiver, but a lot of other inconveniences. My 706 is easier to use in the car, has a few more extras (silly things like the SWR meter make life easier in the car) but I wouldn't say in general that it's a lot better than the 140.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this one as a starter, backup, or mobile rig, but if I could afford something better for main fixed station use, I would buy something else.